Sky & Telescope‘s 2019 Total Solar Eclipse & Southern Stargazing Tour

Only Sky & Telescope offers you a chance to stand in the Moon's shadow on July 2, 2019, and marvel at the splendors of the southern sky amid 5-star, all-inclusive luxury!

Totality on August 21, 2017

S&T / Sean Walker

Did you witness the total solar eclipse in August 2017? Are you one of the millions of onlookers who are eagerly awaiting the next one?

Your next chance to stand in the Moon's shadow will be here before you know it —  on July 2, 2019. However, accommodations along the path of totality across South America are extremely limited.

What better way to see totality in 2019 than to join Sky & Telescope's total eclipse tour? You'll be able to view this much-anticipated event from the town of El Molle, well inland from the Pacific Coast, where the climate predictions are very favorable.

Totality's path in 2019

2019's solar eclipse hits land only in Chile and Argentina.
Jay Anderson

Better yet, you'll get to view the eclipse while being pampered at the only 5-star property positioned in the path of totality. Our tour's carefully chosen viewing site, Casa Molle Villa & Golf, is a brand-new resort situated in the lush and picturesque Elqui Valley. This exclusive venue, nestled along the river, provides excellent viewing prospects for the eclipse.

Our travel partner for 2019's solar eclipse is Royal Adventures (CST#2009579-40), a company that specializes in tours to South America and that prides itself on providing travel experiences of unmatched quality.

So if you're thinking of traveling to see 2019's total solar eclipse, why not make the most of it? But you must act fast, because accommodations for this S&T exclusive, all-inclusive tour are limited to only 60 participants.

You can choose from two travel packages, each of which offers a post-eclipse extension to Chile's otherworldly Atacama Desert:

Itinerary for 7-day tour with eclipse viewing at exclusive 5-star resort

Itinerary for optional 5-day Atacama Desert extension

Pricing & Terms

Itinerary for Sky & Telescope's 2019 Solar Eclipse & Southern Stargazing Tour

Date Itinerary at a Glance Accommodation Meals
Saturday, June 29, 2019 Depart for Chile (overnight flight) D (aloft)
Sunday, June 30 Santiago Marriott or Ritz-Carlton L, D
Monday, July 1 Santiago & La Serena Diego de Almagro or Casa Molle B, L, D
Tuesday, July 2 Eclipse Viewing at Casa Molle Diego de Almagro or Casa Molle B, L, D
Wednesday, July 3 Observatory Tour Diego de Almagro or Casa Molle B, L, D
Thursday, July 4 Vicuña & Santiago (overnight flight) B, L, D (aloft)
Friday, July 5 Arrive at home B (aloft)
Marriott Santiago

While in Chile's capital, you'll enjoy 5-star luxury at either the Santiago Marriott (pictured) or the Ritz-Carlton.

Saturday, June 29, 2019 — Depart from your home
Overnight flight to Chile; dinner and breakfast (typically) aloft.

Sunday, June 30 — Santiago
Arrive this morning in Santiago and transfer to your 5-star hotel located in the Las Condes business district. After a short afternoon orientation, we'll visit Chile's National Astronomical Observatory. Operated by the Department of Astronomy of the University of Chile, the observatory is situated on Cerro Calán, which offers breathtaking views of the city. Upon return to our hotel, we'll gather for a welcome dinner. (Lunch and dinner included.)
Group 1: Santiago Marriott; Group 2: Ritz-Carlton

Monday, July 1 — Santiago & La Serena
Morning flight to La Serena. After a short city tour we'll transfer to our hotel. In the evening, we get to explore the southern sky during an evening excursion to a private, well-equipped observatory. If you've never seen the Magellanic Clouds and deep-sky spectacles such as the Tarantula Nebula and globular cluster 47 Tucanae, you're in for a real treat!(Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.)
Group 1: Hotel Diego de Almagro, La Serena; Group 2: Casa Molle Villa & Golf, El Molle

Tuesday, July 2 — Eclipse Day!
After breakfast, Group 1 will transfer by bus to join Group 2 at Casa Molle Villa & Golf resort, our exclusive eclipse-viewing site. Enjoy the spacious grounds of the resort while getting a final briefing about the total solar eclipse we will be seeing this afternoon. After lunch, we'll gather at our private eclipse-viewing area. The total solar eclipse commences at 4:38:25 p.m. local time; mid-eclipse is 4:39:36; and totality ends at 4:40:46 (duration = 2m 21s, not including lunar-limb correction) — full details appear in the table below. After the eclipse, we'll celebrate with champagne and cocktails and have dinner at the garden salon to commemorate this remarkable event. After the festivities end, Group 1 returns by bus to La Serena. (Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.)
Group 1: Hotel Diego de Almagro, La Serena; Group 2: Casa Molle Villa & Golf, El Molle

Total Solar Eclipse of July 2, 2019
as viewed from Casa Molle Villa & Golf, El Molle, Chile  (70.9428°W, 29.9828°S)

Event Universal Time Local time Sun's alt. Sun's az.
Start of partial eclipse (C1) 19:23:03 3:23:03 25° 320°
Start of total eclipse (C2) 20:38:25 4:38:25 13° 307°
Maximum eclipse (mid-totality) 20:39:36 4:39:36 13° 307°
End of total eclipse (C3) 20:40:46 4:40:46 13° 307°
End of partial eclipse (C4)* 21:46:40 5:46:40 297°
Sunset 21:53 5:53 –0.3° 297°

Data courtesy Xavier Jubier. *Not visible (blocked by hills that rise 4° above true horizon).

Casa Molle Villa & Golf

Limited to just 60 participants, guests on Sky & Telescope's tour will view the eclipse in late afternoon amid the lush splendor of Casa Molle Villa & Golf, a 5-star resort nestled in Chile's verdant Elqui Valley.

Wednesday, July 3 — Observatory Tour
Soon after breakfast, we travel north from La Serena along the Pan-American Highway and then into the Chilean Andes for a day-long tour of La Silla Observatory (tentative destination). Like others in this geographical area, this observatory is located far from sources of light pollution, and it boasts one of the darkest night skies on Earth. La Silla has been a European Southern Observatory stronghold since the 1960s. Here ESO operates two 3.6-m telescopes, including the New Technology Telescope (NTT). After returning from the summit, enjoy a late afternoon at your leisure before dinner. (Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.)
Group 1: Hotel Diego de Almagro, La Serena; Group 2: Casa Molle Villa & Golf, El Molle

Hotel Diego de Almagro

Hotel Diego de Almagro is a 4-star hotel situated along the picturesque Pacific Coast in La Serena, Chile.

Thursday, July 4 — Vicuña & Santiago
This morning we'll travel to the Capel pisco distillery to learn about the development of pisco, a pure and aromatic distillation produced from Muscatel grapes grown in the microclimate of the Elqui Valley. After lunch, transfer to the La Serena airport for a flight to Santiago. Those who are flying home will gather for a farewell dinner before transferring to the airport. Those continuing on the post-trip extension to the Atacama Desert will overnight at the Marriott Hotel in Santiago. (Breakfast and lunch included; dinner included if departing Chile.)
Group 1: Santiago Marriott; Group 2: Ritz-Carlton

Friday, July 5 — Home!
Arrive at your home city after an overnight flight from Santiago.

OPTIONAL POST-TOUR EXTENSION TO ATACAMA DESERT

Any trip to Chile would not be complete without a visit to the vast and colorful Atacama Desert. Here's your chance to see one of the driest places on Earth! Our tour includes visits to the otherworldly El Tatio geyser field, a second night of stargazing at a private observatory, and a specially arranged visit to the Atacama large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA).

Atacama mudcracks

Chile's Atacama Desert is a bleak but colorful landscape that's full of geologic wonders.
S&T / Kelly Beatty

Itinerary for "Post-Tour Extension to Atacama Desert"

Date Itinerary at a Glance Accommodation Meals
Thursday, July 4 Santiago Marriott or Ritz-Carlton
Friday, July 5 Santiago & San Pedro de Atacama La Casa de Don Tomas or Hotel Altiplanico B, L, D
Saturday, July 6 Atacama Desert La Casa de Don Tomas or Hotel Altiplanico B, L, D
Sunday, July 7 El Tatio, ALMA, & SPACE La Casa de Don Tomas or Hotel Altiplanico B, L, D
Monday, July 8 San Pedro & Santiago Overnight flight B, L, D
Tuesday, July 9 Arrive at home B (aloft)

Saturday, June 29, 2019 — Depart from your home
Overnight flight to Chile; dinner and breakfast aloft

Thursday, July 4 — Santiago
After our flight from La Serena to Santiago, you'll transfer from the airport to your hotel for a leisurely evening on your own. Dinner not included.
Group 1: Santiago Marriott; Group 2: Ritz-Carlton

Friday, July 5 — Santiago & San Pedro de Atacama
After breakfast at the hotel, we'll transfer to the airport in time to board a late-morning flight to Calama. We'll be met at the airport and transfer to quaint regional hub of San Pedro de Atacama. On the way, we'll observe the striking salt-covered Cordillera de la Sal. After lunch at a local restaurant, the afternoon is free to explore San Pedro and to get acclimatized to the 7,900-foot altitude. Before dinner, we depart to watch sunset at Moon and Death Valley. Then we return to the hotel and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. (Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.)
Group 1: Hotel La Casa de Don Tomas; Group 2: Hotel Altiplanico

southern sky over San Pedro

Most of the southern-sky features seen here await you on Sky & Telescope's 2019 eclipse tour. At left are the Carina complex, Southern Cross, and Coal Sack. The Large and Small Magellanic Clouds adorn the sky at right.
S&T / Kelly Beatty

Saturday, July 6 — Atacama Desert
After breakfast at the hotel, we depart at 8:30 am for a full-day excursion to Salar de Atacama, Chaxa lagoon, Socaire, the altiplanic lagoons of Mizcanti and Meñiques, and the Atacama's Tropic of Capricorn marker. We'll stop for lunch at a local restaurant in Socaire (Ayllu). After returning to hotel, we'll gather for dinner at a local restaurant. (Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.)
Group 1: Hotel La Casa de Don Tomas; Group 2: Hotel Altiplanico

Nighttime observing in northern Chile

The views were awesome with this giant reflector at SPACE, a tourist observatory near San Pedro de Atacama.
S&T / Kelly Beatty

Sunday, July 7 — El Tatio Geysers, ALMA, and SPACE
We leave the hotel at 5:00 a.m. (an early departure!) to reach the other-worldly El Tatio Geysers in time for sunrise. Situated at an altitude of 14,170 feet (4,320 m), this is one of the highest geothermal areas on Earth. Be sure to bring warm clothing and gloves! We'll have a picnic breakfast served at the geysers, then return to the hotel at approximately noon. Lunch follows at a local restaurant. In the afternoon we'll travel to the Operations Support Facility of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), the most advanced and sensitive array of radio telescopes on the planet! After our behind-the-scenes tour, we'll return to the hotel in late afternoon, with some time on our own to rest before gathering at a local restaurant for dinner.

After nightfall, we travel a short distance from town to the San Pedro de Atacama Celestial Explorations (SPACE), a privately owned complex of telescopes designed to thrill you with views of the southern sky. We'll return to the hotel late — but happy! (Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.)
Group 1: Hotel La Casa de Don Tomas; Group 2: Hotel Altiplanico

Monday, July 8 — San Pedro & Santiago
Today we can relax. Enjoy leisure time after breakfast (lunch is on your own). We'll transfer to the Calama airport for a midday flight to Santiago. Bid farewell to our fellow travelers during a buffet dinner at Holiday Inn Hotel at the Santiago International Airport. Then we'll get assistance at the airport as we check in for our international flights to return home. (Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.)

Tuesday, July 9 — Home!
Arrive at your home city after an overnight flight from Santiago.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • Accommodation in 4- (or 3-) and 5-star hotels
  • Connecting flights within Chile
  • English-speaking Tour Director exclusive to Sky & Telescope group
  • Professional English-speaking guides at all locations
  • Land transport by private motor coach
  • All meals indicated on the itinerary
  • Wine with all dinners and most lunches
  • Bottled water during outings
  • Baggage handling
  • Tips to local guides, drivers, service charges, and taxes
  • Entrance fees on itinerary excursions and visits
  • Arrangements for all private visits to all professional and tourist observatories
  • All domestic airport departure taxes
  • Customized luggage tags with Sky & Telescope logo

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • International airfare to and from Santiago
  • Passport fees
  • Room service
  • Alcoholic beverages except as noted
  • Items of a personal nature such as cost of phone calls
  • Travel and medical insurance

PRICING

GROUP 1 PRICING (per person) — limited to 36 participants!

Pricing (per person) Double Single
Total Solar Eclipse & Southern Stargazing Tour US$6,500 US$8,000
Post-Eclipse Extension to Atacama Desert US$4,300 US$4,800

GROUP 2 PRICING (per person) — limited to 24 participants!

Pricing (per person) Double Single
Total Solar Eclipse & Southern Stargazing Tour US$10,950 US$18,450
Post-Eclipse Extension to Atacama Desert US$4,500 US$5,300

Note: All tour prices are based on costs and U.S. dollar exchange rates in effect at the time of posting. As such, prices listed here are subject to change. Sky & Telescope and/or Royal Adventures will inform clients of any changes prior to departure.

PAYMENTS & TERMS

  • An advance payment of US$1,500 per person (Group 1) or US$2,000 per person (Group 2), along with US$500 per person for the Atacama Desert extension, is required to secure your reservation. Initial deposits may be charged to a credit card. All subsequent payments must be made by check payable to "Royal Adventures."
  • Reservation request can be submitted (1) by mail to Royal Adventures, 9 Crow Canyon Ct. Suite 205, San Ramon, CA 94583; (2) by fax to (925) 855-1909; or (3) by email sent
    to info@royaladventures.com. Reservations are recorded and acknowledged in order of receipt.
  • To cancel a reservation, notification must be received in writing (via mail or email; see contact info above) by Royal Adventures. Cancellations received within the first 14 days of booking will receive a full refund of the trip deposit. Cancellations received on or after January 25, 2019, are subject to a 100% penalty of all deposits and payments, regardless of the booking date. There are no refunds for unused meals, accommodations, or other trip features.

HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ECLIPSE TOUR?

Email Royal Adventures at info@royaladventures.com or call 925-820-6260 (Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time). Or call S&T Editor in Chief Peter Tyson, 617-758-0240. (Seriously interested parties only, please!)